On Wednesday morning, the Hong Kong Economic News (HKEN) speculated that Arthur Hayes’ trading platform BitMEX sealed a deal that would see the cryptocurrency exchange paying the world’s most expensive rental rates per square foot.
BitMEX Makes It Big With Rumored Rental Contract
Currently, the most expensive offices to lease in the world are in the Cheung Kong Center skyscraper. Cheung Kong’s landlords are said to have leased its entire 45th-floor vacancy (20,000 square feet) to BitMEX at a rate of HK$225 per square foot (US$28.66).
If the rumors are true, BitMEX is set to rub shoulders with some of the world’s most well-known financial institutions; including, Bloomberg LP, Barclays PLC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and Bank of America Corp. The world-renowned skyscraper is also host to billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s business ventures.
The move certainly sparks some controversy due to the recent negative turbulent shifts in cryptocurrency prices, with the likes of Bitcoin currently down 65% since December’s peak with no signs of recovery. Plus, many other mainstream cryptocurrencies have followed the same trend. With the crypto market currently in turmoil, the move certainly appears to be a bold move made by Hayes and BitMEX, who appear undeterred by the market’s lack of positive performance.
In addition to this, the decision to rent an office in Cheung Kong Center could be a show of defiance from the well-known crypto exchange. That being said, it just as likely a sign that even during times of hardship, crypto exchanges are still able to survive, or even thrive in the face of a widespread market decline.
Up until now there has yet to be an official announcement from Hayes himself in regard to the change of location in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, the grapevines are already being rattled by Bloomberg, who claim Arthur Hayes’ BitMEX is behind the Hong Kong Economic Times report. The new piece from the HKET merely stated that the 45th floor has been rented, but mentioned no names.
If the reported move goes ahead, BitMEX will be leaving their logistical warehouse operational center currently in Victoria Harbor where rental rates are said to be as low as HK$25 per square foot (US$3.18) — a mere fraction of the cost per square foot in Hong Kong’s prestigious Cheung Kong Center.
This is a huge step up and a move back into the ‘big time’ for Arthur Hayes, who was laid off by Citigroup in the past. As many have come to note now, it was this lay off that instigated his aspirations to conquer the blockchain’s financial sector. News of Hayes newfound financial fame came back in 2014 when he was manipulating Bitcoin price differences in China and Hong Kong, which was the cause of the birth and rise of BitMEX.